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Omega-3s Linked With Fewer Depressive Symptoms in Women

Previous research regarding the effect of omega-3s on depression has been contradictory. A recent study suggests that this could be because the results are different for men and women. This study found that women had a 49% reduction in depressive symptoms after omega-3 supplementation, while no effect at all was seen for men.

Participants in the study included 1,746 adults between the ages of 30 and 65. The researchers administered the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale to determine if there was any association between omega-3 intake and depression.

They found that 25.6% of the women and 18.1% of the men had elevated depressive symptoms. When they examined omega-3 intake, they found that 43% of men and 59% of women had adequate intake of linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) but only 5.2% and 17.2% of men and women, respectively, had adequate intake of EPA and DHA omega-3s.

The highest omega-3 intakes in women were associated with the 49% reduction in depressive symptoms.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the University of Delaware, and Eastern Virginia Medical School conducted the study. It was published on September 4, 2013, in The Journal of Nutrition.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s, while ALA omega-3 fatty-acids are plant derived and can be found in flaxseed oil, vegetable oil, and walnuts.

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